"I have led thee in right paths" (Proverbs 4:11)
"We only go this way once." Life is brief and life is precious. It is desirable that we live it that one time so as to hold no regrets. God instructs us, "Ponder the path of thy feet" (Prov. 4:26). Our paths should receive earnest attention from us.
A variety of paths seems open before us. Some live one way, some another; and it would appear that we can do as we please. Yet a clear analysis of the situation reveals that there are really only two kinds of paths out there ahead of us: right paths and wrong paths.
The Hebrew word translated "path" in our text really means the furrow made by a wagon or other vehicle. It is plain and visible to the eye, easy to follow. The first half of the text says, "I have taught thee in the way of wisdom," which means that the paths in which the Lord will lead us will always be wise paths and therefore right paths. Conversely, right paths will always be wise paths, and wise paths, plain ones.
If the Lord's ways are always right and wise, then it can never be a mistake to go the way He directs. It is never foolish, nor a defeat to genuine personal interests or potentials. God wants to lead and we ought to follow. He will "establish" our ways if we follow Him. Right ways can be established, i.e., made permanent, because they are for the good of all and for the glory of God.
All the way my Savior leads me; Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised, In my Father's house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal, wings its flight to realms of day,
This my song through all the ages: Jesus led me all the way.---Fanny J. Crosby
(this devotional by Rev. Roger J. Andrus)